Herewith Part II of a book review of "The Palestine Triangle: The Struggle for the Holy Land, 1935-48 by Nicholas Bethell":
Additional examples of Zionist terror were the Stern Gang assassination of A. E. Conquest, Chief of the Criminal Investigation Division in Haifa, and the hanging of the two kidnapped sergeants, Clifford Martin and Mervyn Paice. These two were hanged on July 30, 1947 in retaliation for the hanging of captured Irgun men.
The Irgun view was that the Prisoner of War convention was in effect, the British considered that there was no war, merely a campaign of illegal rebellion against the legitimate Mandatory power. Although the Jewish Agency and the Harganah verbally opposed the methods of the Irgun, they offered little practical help to apprehend the offenders.
The only brief moment of semi-collaboration came after the assassination of Lord Moyne in Cairo. Then, Ben Gurion, much to the consternation of the Yishuv deemed it tactically expedient to offer half-hearted help in tracking down Irgun elements to avoid sterner British methods of reprisal.
Many decades later in Israel it has come to be the accepted view that the violence of the Irgun and to promote illegal immigration (Aliyah, Plan B) in fact complemented each other. This certainly tends to confirm the British view that the antagonism between the Jewish leadership was more mock than real.
A major function of the pre-Israel "state within the state" was to make the British look as brutal as possible for striving to keep out of Palestine as many Jewish immigrants as possible. In this connection, the hoax of "gas chambers" came in very handy. Whenever an immigrant ship such as the Patria or Sturma blew up or was sunk, the Zionists would denounce the British as "murderers" for not having granted asylum. This was particularly ironic in the case of the Patria. It was the Haganah who planted the limpet bomb which sank the ship.
The classic example of this propaganda campaign came in 1947 with the refugee ship, the President Warfield, later renamed the "Exodus". This ship, crammed full of 4500 refugees from Hamburg, was sent by the Zionists from France to Haifa in the full expectation that the "brutal" British would refuse entry. The British could then be embarrassed by the full glare of Zionist media publicity. This is exactly what happened.
The British were portrayed as the legitimate successors to Nazis. The Jews were returned first to France and thence to Hamburg. The Jews had lost a trifling 4500 by return trip but had gained a decisive propaganda victory. The British and Arabs both had always considered Zionist "concern" for refugees far more political than genuine. The President Warfield demonstrated that point admirably, but that was not the message conveyed to the public through the slanted lens of the Parisian photographers.
One of the main points of the Palestine Triangle is that "one man's justice is another man's injustice." Although Bethall does not pass judgment on whether Jews or Arabs have the better claim to Palestine, some of the quotations of the Arab leaders are worth reproducing. Azam Pasha, secretary of the Arab League, stated before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry meeting in Cairo:
"You must understand that this is our country. We want no foreign benefactors. We don't want to be patronized. We want to live in our own way, and we want no foreign teachers and no foreign money and no foreign habits and no smiles of condescension and no pats on the shoulder and no arrogance and none of your shameless women wriggling their buttocks in holy places. We don't want your honey and we don't want your sting. Get that straight - neither your honey nor your sting!"
Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and the lifelong leader of the Palestine Arabs, expressed his opposition to Zionism in these terms:
"Put yourself in the Arabs' place. Remember yourselves in 1940 (speaking to the British). Did you ever think of offering the Germans part of Britain on condition that they let you alone in the rest? Of course not - and you never would. To start with, you would have preferred to die defending it. In the second you know that they would never have kept their word to have remained in the one part."
The British Foreign Minister, Ernst Bevin, was the last statesman to offend the Zionists by speaking frankly before the Iron Curtain of Silence descended. In a speech before the Labour Party Conference at Bournemouth on June 12, 1946, Bevin stated with reference to the Truman Administration's demand for the admittance into Palestine of an immediate 100,000 Jewish immigrants:
"I hope I will not be misunderstood in America if I say that this was proposed with the purest motives. They do not want too many Jews in New York."
The Palestine Triangle closes with a fascinating "What if...?"
". . . if the irgun and LEHI brought forward Britain's abdication as much as a year, they may indeed have affected the subsequent course of history. The events of 1948 - the Communist take-over in Czechoslovakia, communist victories in China, Stalinist purge trials in Hungary, the Berlin blockade and Stalin's quarrel with Tito - effectively converted American policy makers away from the belief (which many held) that the world's future would be based on cooperation with the Soviet Union. Had Palestine's year of decision been 1948 rather than 1947, the United States Congress and President might have felt it necessary to stabilize the British Empire along the lines suggested by the State Department. And this would have meant supporting Britain over Palestine, switching over to an active anti-Zionist policy."
Given the Zionists' provable record of always winning in the end, one may reasonably doubt that this switch, even had it occurred, would ultimately not have prevented the birth of the Zionist state. Nevertheless, it is clear that neither the British Empire, the United States, nor anyone else in the Western orbit ultimately gained from the creation of Israel. Bethall does not say this, but the true import of his narrative is obvious to anyone who reads the facts.
The Palestine Triangle is a most objective and fairly told presentation of a very complex, multi-faceted story almost unknown to the man in the street. It can be read with profit both by the uninformed and the experts on the subject.
Thought for the Day:
"International Jewry is now taking all steps possible to try to shackle those who have for centuries been their victims. The Jews know that one day there will be a massive awakening by those victims, and when that day arrives, they want in place laws prohibiting the "hate" that they will not and cannot accept as mere retribution for their cumulative heinous acts. "
(Letter to the Zundelsite)
Back to Table of Contents of the Sept. 2000 ZGrams